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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 26-30

Using a personality inventory to identify risk of distress and burnout among early stage medical students

1 Research, Rancho Research Institute, Downey, California, USA
2 Department of Family Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
3 Department of Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
4 School of Applied Life Sciences, Keck Graduate Institute, Claremont, California, USA

Correspondence Address:
Stephanie A Bughi
DHSc, MS 7601 E. Imperial Hwy, 900 Building, Annex A, Downey, CA 90242
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.210499

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Background: Distress and burnout are common among medical students and negatively impact students' physical, mental, and emotional health. Personality inventories such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), used in medical education, may have a role in identifying burnout risk early. Methods: The authors conducted a cross-sectional survey study among 185 1st year medical students with the MBTI, the general well-being schedule (GWB), and Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student Survey (MBI-SS). Descriptive statistics and one-way MANOVAs were used to identify the prevalence and differences in MBTI preferences and distress/burnout risk. Results: Response rate was 185/185 (100%). Distress (GWB) was reported by 84/185 (45.4%). High scores on exhaustion were reported by 118/182 (64.8%), cynicism by 76/182 (41.8%), and decreased professional efficacy by 38/182 (20.9%) for the three dimensions of the MBI-SS. Only 21/182 (11.5%) of respondents had high scores on all three dimensions of burnout. Students with MBTI preferences for extraversion reported greater positive well-being (P < 0.05), self-control (P < 0.05), professional efficacy (P < 0.01), and lower levels of depression (P < 0.01) compared with those with introversion preference. Discussion: Distress and burnout are prevalent early in medical training. The significant difference between extraversion and introversion in relation to distress and burnout deserves further study. Use of a personality inventory may help identify students at risk of burnout and allow appropriate early stress management.

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